Caiman Ecological Refuge
At a Glance
One of the most accessible of the southern Pantanal lodges - 4 hours by road
Great option for families as the two lodges Baiazinha and Cordilheira have their own swimming pools
Accommodation is a notch up here and the guests rooms are spacious and have more frills
Wildlife spotting on your doorstep
Only 11 rooms between the two pousadas so a very personalized wildlife experience
Set arrival and departure dates - 3 nights Thursday to Sunday and 4 nights Sunday to Thursday
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
The Pantanal has two distinct seasons, dry and wet. During the wet season (November-April) guests will find the region in bloom, with lush vegetation and flowers, however the rains can make some areas tricky to reach, it is very hot and humid and some lodges do close at this time. We feel the best time to visit is during the dry season (May - October), which is the peak season for viewing wildlife, when rare species of birds and other animals seek shelter along the riverbanks and can be observed more easily.
Opt for a private guide and vehicle for the duration of your stay for complete flexibility. This will enable you to choose how long you are on safari for and tailor your wildlife viewing to suit your wishes. An excellent option for families and keen photographers but I would recommend this to anyone
To start planning your vacation to Caiman Ecological Refuge
Caiman Ecological Refuge is a 53,000-hectare ranch located in the heart of the southern Pantanal region of Brazil, one of the world’s most important wetlands, hosting one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife in the Americas.
Caiman Ecological Refuge combines conservation with eco-tourism and a working cattle ranch. Located in the southern region of the Pantanal, Caiman consists of a two independent lodges offering a similar level of comfort - all have swimming pools, air-conditioned rooms and private bathrooms.
Caiman Ecological Refuge has a great little restaurant with menus inspired by Pantanal recipes using only local ingredients such as freshwater fish, meats and fruits of the Cerrada. Twice a week the lodge offers guests a traditional barbecue and oreada, a special local meat dried over night which is held in high regard by the local people and very tasty indeed.
The Pantanal is home to the most spectacular array of wildlife including 300 species of birds, anteaters, armadillo, caiman and monkeys. The topography is very flat which makes it much easier to view wildlife than in the confines of the Amazon jungle. It has a diverse landscape of savanna lowlands, seasonal wetlands and rich forest areas. Resident naturalist guides accompany guests on fascinating excursions in specially adapted vehicles, on foot and by canoe.
Please note that Caiman is also available for exclusive hire.
Baiazinha Lodge has six double standard guest rooms with a capacity of 12 people, decorated in a traditional ranch style. Cordilheira Lodge has five double suite guest rooms with a capacity of 10 people and has been designed in a more contemporary style. Each lodge has its own swimming pool, restaurant and living area.
Children over the age of 8 are welcome at Caiman Lodge, although due to the length of the transfer to the lodge and the nature of the excursions we would not necessarily recommend it for extremely young children. Older children are sure to enjoy the adventurous nature of a stay in the Pantanal and looking out for the local wildlife.
Caiman has a restaurant and all the facilities that accompany the two independent lodges. Each has its own swimming pool, spacious living room with TV and DVD, games room and dining room.
Caiman offers regular excursions which are included such as photographic safaris, walking the trails, canoe tours, jeep safaris and nocturnal safaris. Optional activities, some of which must be booked in advance, include birdwatching and bike tours.
All guests visiting Caiman during the high season from mid-June to mid-September will also have the opportunity to visit the Onçafari Jaguar Project.
Victoria Langmead (Staff)
For me, Caiman Lodge stood out for two things: Firstly the people whether it be the wonderful lodge hostess who makes you feel like nothing is too much trouble or the smiley dining room staff who feed you the most wonderful home cooked meals or the incredibly knowledgeable guides who seem to have that knack of tracking and spotting the most elusive of creatures - the people of Caiman Lodge make you feel so welcome and that you are part of the family. The second thing that I will never forget from my visit to Caiman Lodge is the wildlife. Having been lucky enough to go on many safaris in Africa as well as India, there is no doubt it that I adore all things great and small but at Caiman Lodge, the guides worked tirelessly to track and show you the marvels that call this corner of Brazil their home but also educate you along the way about eco-tourism and conservation. Creatures that I had only read about in books were very relaxed in our presence whether it be Giant Anteaters, armadillos, tapir or Caiman. Caiman is a complete paradise for anyone with a love for photography as the sunsets are fantastic, star laden remote night skies, abundant wildlife and of course the jaw dropping birdlife.
The most luxurious lodge in the Pantanal, the Refugio Caiman is set on a huge cattle ranch outside the town of Miranda, about 250km (155 miles) from Campo Grande. The land is not as rugged as in the North Pantanal; years of ranching, draining, and road building have left their mark. However, the Refugio is still every bit the working cattle ranch. Every morning ranch hands head out to look after the cattle. In late afternoon they practice rodeo moves in the corral. Soft-adventure activities here are very safe - perfect for families with young children. Avid horseback riders should avoid this place; there is no trotting or galloping allowed (ever!), no matter how good your riding skills. Excursions are geared to those who lack the fitness level for longer hikes or expeditions. Fortunately, even with the somewhat stronger human imprint, the population of wildlife is still quite stunning. Huge jabiru storks, flocks of roseate spoonbills, egrets of all shapes and sizes, caiman, and capybaras can all be seen within steps of the lodge. Hyacinth macaws are frequently spotted. The food is outstanding and the accommodations, in an old hacienda with a new central pool, positively luxurious.
Location & directions
Caiman Ecological Refuge is located in the Southern Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul, on a 53 thousand hectare ranch, 236 km from Campo Grande, the state capital.
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